About a million of my BFFs are with child and shall birth those children (respectively) by early next year. I was discussing the contents of my bag(s) for labor/delivery/postpartum, and actually found the detailed spreadsheet that I had created to keep track of all the VERY IMPORTANT THINGS that I needed to have with me.
Not surprisingly, there are so many items I packed that I didn’t even touch during the hospital stay. I recall packing and thinking that I could go without a lot, but was not willing to risk being without THE ONE THING that made the differnce between glowing, fantastic super mom and, well, a woman who just pushed an 8lb person out of her hoo-ha.
I had the brillant idea of having a Labor bag and a Post-partum bag. The main problem with that is tha ti tleft me without any intuitive packing skills. Contacts seperate from toothpaste? Where does the hairbrush go? some clothes here, some clothes there? After, oh, 8 months of planning, several facebook posts begging for suggestions, and a few grey hairs, I came to a decent list.
Today, you get to hear about what I packed and why. Tune back tomorrow to hear how my suggestions work 60% of the time, every time. (double points if you name that movie!)
THE LABOR BAG
(1) Comfy nursing bras. These aren’t those underwire nursing bras you find in Motherhood maternity. Oh no, these are the big guns. Super sports bra support, easy boob access, and plenty of coverage.
(2) Amazon Kindle (or whichever e-reader or tablet you prefer). I had no idea how long I would be in labor, how painful it would be, or whether I would have pain relief. And If I was lucky enough to catch some Z’s, The Man could use it.
(3) iPhone charger. Duh.
(4) Hairties and bobby pins! I knew I wouldn’t be one of those women who had glowing, perfect hair after giving birth. I had a nice, stretchy headband too.
(5) Tube Sock and Tennis ball. I read somewhere that rubbing a tennis ball on your back during labor can help immensely. So I went out and bought a tube of tennis balls and hi-jacked one of the Man’s old socks.
(6) Yummy lotions. Did I ever tell you that The Man was required to give me a foot massage during our all-day, marathon birthing class? it was glorious. I expected that it be replicated during labor.
(7) Birth Plan. I had a million verions of birth plans. I downloaded some from babycenter, some I just made up, all of them were confusing and contradictory. I constantly paniced that I would leave a crucial piece of information out.
(8) iPhone portable speaker. I had labor playlists and I’m not afraid to admit it. Again, this went with the uncertainty of the length of labor, and not knowing whether I’d need some good tunes to pump me up!
(9) Comfy, non-skid socks. These were to wear while walking around the hospital to keep my feed all warm and toasty. I had a great pair from Bath and Body Works, but I’m not sure they carry those anymore.
(10) Bathrobe. A good friend recommended that I bring a bathrobe to cover myself up if I was walking around, and for visitors after the fact. I picked up a grey one from Target about a week before I went into labor.
(11) Binsi Skirt. Ok, soooo, I’m not really a hippy, but you wouldn’t know it by my choice of labor attire. I’ve mentioned before that I didn’t want to wear hospital clothes, but I also didn’t want to ruin my favorite black skirt. I can’t remember where I heard about the binsi skirt, but I needed to have it.
(12) Soft Slipper Flip-Flops. These were a bridesmaid gift from my friend Bridget and I LOOOOVE them. I figured I could use them to walk around instead of the socks.
(13) Nursing Tanktop. This was a back up to the nursing bra, in case I wanted to be a little more modest, or to wear when visitors arrived.
THE POST-PARTUM BAG
(1) Muslin Swaddlers. I knew the hospital would supply swaddlers, but I wanted softer ones for pictures and the trip home.
(2) Nursing Bra. I wore the underwire nursing bras for the latter part of my pregnancy (highly recommend doing that, btw). I wanted this for the trip home.
(3) Yoga Capri Pants. I wanted a pair of comfy pants for the hospital stay.
(4) Comfy Nursing Tank Top. I also packed a second nursing tank for hospital visitors.
(5) Makeup. Ok, fine, I can be a little vain. But I knew my picture would be taken, and I wanted to feel like a human!
(6) Hair Dryer and Hair Straightener. See #5.
(7) Nursing Pads. I’d heard that you leak a lot of breastmilk during the first few weeks of nursing and wanted to be prepared.
(8) Lanolin. Lanolin is super helpful for sore nipples, something I was sure I would have!
(9) Boppy. Ah the trusty nursing pillow. I wanted to have anything and everything that would help me breastfeed little baby lafe!
(10) Cotton Swabs and QTips, (11) Face Cleansing Wipes, (12) Body Wash, (13) Deodorant, (14) Hair Brush, (15) Toothbrush, Toothpaste, and Mouthwash, (16) Shampoo and Conditioner.
Several friends told me that the first shower post-birth was the best feeling ever, especially if you had labored a long time. The only disappointment they had was with the hospital soap and shampoo combo. I figured it would be even more refreshing to have all of my normal shower products.
I also (obviously) packed clothes to come home in (a blue pattern nursing dress from Target) and clothes for baby to come home in (a green frog outfit, size 0-3 months). The Man packed his own bag of clothes, snacks, magazines, etc. Overall, we had a backpack for the labor bag, a duffle bag for my postpartum bag, The Man’s duffle bag, a boppy, and a huge pillow with bright pillow case for me! I still think my walk into the hospital with contractions was harder than The Man’s task of carrying all of those bags!